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New blood test could diagnose heart attacks

Even though technology advances our medical knowledge on a daily basis, there is still no guaranteed test to diagnose a heart attack. 

Now researchers at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine believe a blood test could be developed to diagnose heart attacks.

The lack of a diagnostic test causes problems
“Between 60 and 70 percent of all patients who complain of chest pain do not have heart attacks. Many of these patients are admitted to the hospital, at considerable time and expense, until a heart attack is definitively ruled out,” Sakthevel Sadayappan, the author of the study and an assistant professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine said.

While a series of things can affect heart health right now doctors run a series of tests, like an electrocardiogram, which can diagnose a major heart attack but not minor ones.  There is a blood test that can check for a heart attack now but it looks for a protein that shows up six to eight hours after the attack and still isn’t 100 percent certain.

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“The Loyola study is the first to find a specific protein the heart releases after it has suffers an attack and it may be readily detectable in a blood test.”

The future
Right now the research has only been shown in rats, now Sakthevel would like to expand his study and hopes to get enough funding to create a test that will be used by all doctors to quickly diagnose a heart attack.

“This potentially could become the basis for a new test, used in conjunction with other blood tests, to help diagnose heart attacks,” said senior author Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD. “This is the beginning. A lot of additional studies will be necessary to establish this test as a true biomarker for heart attacks.”

The study was published in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.

About Lisa

As a journalist Lisa enjoys writing about a variety of topics. Over the course of the last ten years she has been involved in television news as well as print and online publications. Medical news has always been a favorite for this native New Yorker because she gets to stay on top of the latest developments in a rapidly changing field. Lisa Furgison on Google+

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